Hi everyone, welcome to this first week of January!! I hope you all had a fun-filled weekend of New Year festivities. My parents and I had a somewhat quiet one exploring a nearby garden and sculpture trail. This first week’s post is actually about a series of fantasy books I enjoyed a few years ago and maybe even blogged about a little. Well, there’s only one way to find out for sure, you need to click on the button below…
If you had guessed the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer and illustrated by Brandon Dorman, then you’re ahead of the game!! This cute series caught my attention mostly because of the brightly illustrated covers and the promise of a contemporary-fantasy blended story.
The series starts off with The Wishing Spell where we meet twins Alex and Connor Bailey. When their grandmother gives them a treasured fairy-tale book, they have no idea they’re about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real. But as Alex and Connor soon discover, the stories they know so well haven’t ended in this magical land. The twins know they must get back home somehow. But with the legendary Evil Queen hot on their trail, will they ever find the way? This first story brings readers on a thrilling quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humour, and page-turning adventure.
My review: I really enjoyed this first installment!! Chris Colfer’s take on the legendary tales of yore give your reading buds a tickling with lots of humour and quirky characters!! It was great getting swept along with the Bailey twins as they journeyed through this magical land.
In the second book, The Enchantress Returns, twins Alex and Connor Bailey are forced to return to the Land of Stories when the evil Enchantress kidnaps their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced.
My review: In this second book things take a bit of a turn. Just like the first one I really enjoyed getting to know the fairy tale characters as grown ups and how Colfer took us beyond the classic tale we’re used to. We’re also finding a bit more about the twins as the story unfolds.
Now, things take a bit of a twist in the next one, A Grimm Warning. We actually get to see something from the creators of these stories when Connor Bailey finds himself on a mission to crack a two-hundred-year-old clue left behind by the masters of storytelling: The Brothers Grimm. His twin sister, Alex is training to become the next Fairy Godmother… but her attempts to grant wishes never go as planned. Neither of them are expecting the coming battle, or the secret that will change their lives forever…
My review: In this third book of the Bailey twins, we see Connor and Alex as individuals for the first time. Connor has an adventure with his ‘crush’ Bree and their newly found German friend Emmerich from the fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein into the Land of Stories; while Alex has to prove to the fairy council why she should be included in the next fairy council. Each has their own demons to battle while an even bigger threat looms in the background. An exceptionally well written story.
Chris Colfer takes us readers on more adventures with our beloved fairy tale characters and the Connor twins in this fourth book, Beyond the kingdoms, and we find ourselves intertwined with more than we bargained for. The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it’s up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him…except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they’re in danger. With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose had her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature’s greatest villains! So begins a race through the magical land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it’s too late?
My review: This fourth instalment sees our beloved Land of Stories characters colliding with the classic stories’ heroes and villains. Along with some awesome adventurous storylines we get to see a little bit more romance with the wedding of Jack and Goldilocks and Alex’s own little flutter with Arthur in Sword in the stone!! Such an awesome story!! Chris Colfer is such an exceptional writer!! Kudos goes to his illustrator Brandon Dorman for the artwork as well!!
The next title, An Author’s Odyssey, is one I never expected. Even the caption at the beginning of the blurb threw me off guard: The journey is only just the beginning. We begin this story with the capture of the royal families by the Masked Man. Alex and Conner know they are no match against the Masked Man’s legion of villains, but they realise they may be in possession of the greatest weapon of all!! Their own imaginations!! So begins the twins’ journey into Conner’s very own stories to gather an army of pirates, cyborgs, superheroes, and mummies as they band together for the ultimate fight against the Masked Man. Meanwhile, an even more dangerous plan is brewing…one that could change the fates of both the fairy-tale world and the Otherworld forever.
My review: Seeing Conner’s imagination come alive was so exciting and even sweet; as it more or less cemented the relationship he had with Alex and his mom. The danger lurking in the background is truly thrilling and even though the Masked Man’s demise was gruesome; how this story will truly end is still questionable!!
The last installment, Worlds Collide, brings about a story like no other. Alex and Conner’s biggest fear has come true. The Land of Stories fairy-tale characters – both heroes and villains – are no longer confined to their world! With sinister plans being put into motion by Morina, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, and the rest of the evil literary army, Conner doesn’t think the situation could get any worse. That is, until Alex goes missing! While mayhem brews in the Big Apple, Conner and his friends will have to fight their biggest battle yet. But without Alex by his side, Conner doesn’t know how he will win the war and keep everyone he loves safe. Can Conner find Alex before it’s too late? And can the twins restore order between the human and fairy-tale worlds? Embark on this final thrilling adventure with Alex, Connor, and the rest of the gang – a breathtaking, bittersweet conclusion to the beloved bestselling Land of Stories series.
My review: What an amazing final installment this was!! I loved the storyline and meeting the twins with their sidekick fairy tale kings and queens again! I thought Colfer went a bit on the dramatic side with the prologue and epilogue showing an aged and older Connor but the overall story was great!! Dorman’s illustrations as usual sealed the deal with the story. A great ending to a fantastic re-telling of fairy-tales!!
My rating for all of them: 5 ⭐
Well, there you have my first review of the Land of Stories series. Chris Colfer has also published a few companion books to the world of Land of Stories about Fairy Godmother, Mother Goose and the others. I hope you enjoyed this cute series!! If you’ve read any similar stories I’d love to hear from you!
Stay safe and keep reading